Whether you’ve been listening to records for decades or are just getting your feet wet now, a $200 budget is a great starting point for beginners and novices looking to purchase their first turntable. While a higher price point typically does correlate to a higher quality turntable, that’s not at all to say that you can’t purchase a solid turntable on a budget.
Here’s our take on the top ten turntables under $200.
How I choose these turntables
When it comes to turntables, I’m your guy. Since a young age, I’ve been involved in home audio equipment and vinyl records. That passion in the early years of my life turned into a career path. I now work as a professional in the audio and video industry.
Since starting my career, I’ve been able to experience some of the best equipment in the audiophile and vintage home audio industry, and trust me, turntables are a big part of that. I’m an active member of many online audio communities and have a pulse on what’s going on with the latest vinyl tech.
Using this knowledge, I’ve delicately compiled this list of some of the best turntables under $200 based on quality, price, features, and user experience.
The 5 Best Turntables Under $500
My Top Pick
- High build quality
- S-Type tonearm with Audio Technica cartridge (ATN91) included
- 2 speeds: 33 1/3 and 45 RPM
- Belt Driven System
- Aluminum Platter
- Built-in Phono Preamp
- Mat included
- 2-year Warranty
High-performance cartridge: This turntable comes with an Audio Technica cartridge that aims to produce unwavering clarity. I was satisfied with what it has to offer, which is a breath of fresh air considering I am often prone to replacing stock cartridges due to lackluster quality, especially in this price range.
Minimal to no vibrations: Sound dampening is a huge selling point for a turntable, and the Fluance RT80 is known for minimal vibrations during playback. Moreover, external vibrations don’t affect its tracking capabilities much, which is impressive. The turntable is built with isolation feet and construction that’s more than quiet.
Quality components: Signal clarity won’t be an issue as the turntable comes with gold-plated RCA line outputs. On top of that, you’ll find a quality Texas Instruments preamp that achieves a high-fidelity sound thanks to the stellar grounding terminal. Its construction offers hand-crafted wood cabinets and plinths, which deliver a warm and rich sound.
Quality control issues: I have heard from others that their turntables arrived with a few quality control concerns. For example, some people said the design was not functioning how it should when it comes to playback, as the tonearm may not reach the end of the vinyl records. This purely comes down to a manufacturing concern, but it’s something to consider.
Uneven RPM: I did notice RPMs aren’t very precise. While I was able to adjust the motor to mitigate the issue, some listeners might not be that savvy. This may be understandably frustrating, but it shouldn’t be a deal breaker for anyone at this price range.
Short-term reliability: Although each person uses their turntable to a different extent, I feel that the turntable will only last a few years. It’s also possible that certain components may experience a drop in sound quality over time, especially with consistent, repeated use.
For the price, there is nothing better than the RT80
The Fluance RT80 by far is one of the highest-quality turntables on this list and is easily one of the best turntables under $200 that you can buy. Coming in at almost 10 pounds, this unit feels extremely well-built. It possesses many features which we typically find at higher price points such as anti-skating, included moving magnet cartridge, and an S-shaped tonearm.
The glossy black finish and tinted dust cover enable this unit to fit into most home setups flawlessly.
This is the perfect turntable to build your audio setup from while still fitting within a moderate price range, that’s why we consider this to be the best turntable under $200.
See what people are saying about the Fluance RT80 here
Best Budget Turntable
- Fully-Automatic, Belt Driven system
- 33 and 45 RPM speeds
- High-quality Audio-Technica cartridge(ATN3600L) included
- Felt mat included
- Switchable Phono preamp
Fully automatic: If you tend to have records playing on a consistent basis, it can be somewhat of a hassle to constantly move the tonearm around. This turntable offers a fully automatic belt-driven system with two speeds, 33 ⅓ and 45 RPM. It helps to remove some of the tedious manual aspects that many turntables are known for.
Redesigned tonearm base: When it comes to turntables with automatic features, it is even more essential to come with a quality tonearm. Users will enjoy a redesigned tonearm base and headshell that has no issue tracking accurately, which also makes for a satisfying experience no matter the RPM you choose.
Multiple connectivity options: Thanks to the built-in switchable phono preamp, you can connect the turntable to your favorite pair of stand-alone stereo speakers or even a computer or home stereo system. Sometimes you want to listen to your classic records on more modern equipment, and this turntable makes it easy to switch between listening preferences.
Quality control issues: Even if many people seem to be happy with the turntable, it looks like quality control can be hit or miss. I have heard others have received the turntable not working how it should. From rattling sounds to buttons and functionalities that simply won’t work, it’s understandable how this can be frustrating. These issues may not happen with every order, but it’s clear there are some issues with manufacturing.
Lackluster sound quality: Those who have spent time around turntables before seem to be a little disappointed in the audio quality of the LP60-BK. Some have even mentioned that it sounds relatively low-fidelity, which is off-putting for those who were hoping for something more. It’s honestly more of a record player and it isn’t really known for its construction quality, so this is definitely something to consider before buying.
Uneven platter: I noticed that the platter isn’t exactly level, which can lead to poor playback experience and sound quality. Even if the tonearm is still able to track the record just fine, this could lead to more wear and tear on your records and turntable equipment.
A budget turntable that packs a punch
It’s hard to write a turntable buying guide without mentioning Audio-Technica. They’ve been in the business of vinyl equipment since 1962 and have a long history of high-quality products and support.
The At-LP60X series has long been the perfect entry-level turntable. While it doesn’t come with all the high-end features that some of the more expensive turntables on this list have, the build and sound quality can not be matched at this price level.
If you’re someone looking for a budget starting point for turntables, this is it!
See what people are saying about the Audio Technica AT-LP-60 here
1byone Belt Drive Turntable
- Non-automatic belt-driven turntable
- Bluetooth connectivity with wireless speakers or headphones
- Comes with an Audio-Technica diamond stylus
- Built-in preamp
- USB port for MP3 audio ripping
- 33 and 45 rpm speeds
Wireless connectivity: Nowadays, many people looking for a turntable are also looking for other connectivity options. This makes the 1-By-One a stellar choice as it offers wireless connectivity that allows users to pair their favorite wireless headphones or external speakers. No need to hassle with wires; you can listen to any of your records through your device of choice.
CNC machined parts: You won’t have to worry about the quality of the turntable’s individual parts, as many of them are made with CNC fine processing. This helps to ensure your audio playback and long-term quality are as good as possible. You’ll also be able to feel the quality with your own hands, as every turn and pivot feels smooth and equally sturdy.
Vinyl to MP3: Thanks to modern technology, it’s easier than ever to turn your favorite vinyl records into digital files. With the included USB feature, users can connect the turntable to their PC or Mac and encode vinyl audio into an MP3. This gives listeners multiple ways to store and listen to their favorite vinyl records and transfer those files to other devices.
Fully manual: Many people look for automatic tonearms on today’s turntables, especially considering the feature is becoming more common. It doesn’t offer an automatic return among all the other great features of this turntable. Any time you want to play a record, you’ll have to manually reset the tonearm, which some people find to be a small hassle.
Tonearm drift: I noticed that the tonearm tends to drift off to the right, even if it was aligned perfectly with the grooves of the record. This is enough for some to return the turntable as it poses a hassle that may not want to deal with. It isn’t a massive issue, but it’s a repetitive nuisance any time you want to play a record from the beginning.
Inaccurate RPM: A significant part of authentic sound quality playback pertains to the RPM, and I found out that the turntable RPM isn’t exactly on point. This can lead to audio quality issues, which audiophiles will definitely pick up on. It’s another issue that may not be consistent with every order, but it’s an issue that some people can’t ignore.
A turntable packed with features for a low price
1byone has only been around for 10 years and this is their first attempt at creating a more audiophile-focused turntable. That being said, the features and reviews do speak for themselves. This is a quality turntable with tons of options!
The unit, while nearly 13 pounds, does only come in the redwood stain which does give it a slightly tacky and “cheap” feel to it in addition to making it a little harder to match a home’s interior designs.
See what people are saying about the 1byone here
Andover Audio SpinDeck
- 8.6” aluminum tonearm with sapphire bearings
- Ortofon OM cartridge
- AC Motor
- Plastic material
- Low-vibration synchronous motor
Easy set-up: Getting started with this turntable is a breeze. It comes with a minimalist design, and everything you need is ready to go, essentially right out of the box. Once set up, all that’s needed is to adjust the tonearm to your record and enjoy its audio quality.
Space-efficient design: Considering its minimalist nature, this turntable won’t have any trouble blending in with the space and decor in your home. Its white colorway stands out and adds character to any room. With dimensions that are large enough to feel sturdy yet slim enough to be fairly obscure, many people seem to love its size.
Bluetooth connectivity: The turntable also features Bluetooth connectivity, which seems to be the cherry on top for many buyers. With satisfactory sound quality, it’s even better that users can treat it like their digital music player.
Inconsistent playback: I noticed some minor issues with skipping and popping during playback. Of course, this could be because of the quality of the vinyl record, but this one sometimes seems to have this issue after comparing different record players.
Permanent power source: Some people like to make a few minor customizations, but this won’t be possible with the power source. As it’s soldered to the unit itself, you wouldn’t be able to upgrade it even if you wanted to, and the same goes for the RCA cables.
Only one colorway: Although this may not pertain to sound quality, you might prefer a more neutral design. This turntable only comes in a bright white color, which can be relatively jarring if it doesn’t blend with your home decor.
A beautiful, sleek turntable
From its overall efficiency to the turntable’s ease of use, the Andover Audio SpinDeck Turntable is a low-hassle option for those who are new to turntables. I wouldn’t say it’s a good choice for strict audiophiles, but its standout blend of black and white and its space-efficient design make it an ideal purchase for many others.
It comes built with a pre-set tonearm and counterweight in addition to a pre-mounted Ortofon OM Cartridge. Users will also benefit from a low-vibration synchronous motor and AC power supply. The gold-plated RCA interconnect cable is also pre-mounted, and the turntable is built with special feet to help with effective decoupling.
Considering the price point, it’s hard to pass up for many people who are looking for an entry-level turntable. Moreover, the sleek design is a huge selling point for most people, and its east set-up gives people the confidence they need if they aren’t looking for something too intricate. In the same vein, it’s evident that it isn’t perfect for everyone, as it doesn’t come with the highest quality parts.
See what people are saying about the Andover Audio SpinDeck here
Gemini Sound TT-900
Best All-in-One Package
- Automatic turntable with belt drive
- Plays at 33 1/3 and 45-RPM with additional 78-RPM capabilities
- Integrated pre-amp
- Includes 2 25-watt 2-way speakers
- Multiple color combinations to choose from
Includes speakers: Somewhat of a rarity when it comes to turntables, this one offers two 25-watt 2-way bookshelf stereo speakers. You can also adjust pitch and volume with smooth dials, which does a great job of exuding vinyl’s unique sound. Not only are they effective, but the speakers also look pretty stylish alongside the turntable.
Three speeds: Many turntables only come with one or two RPM options, and although that’s usually suitable, some people prefer to have more options. This turntable is capable of 33 ⅓, 45, and 78 RPM, giving you the most flexibility with your vinyl collection. It’s also easy to make adjustments to speed and pitch with just a twist of a knob.
Extremely stylish: Aside from its components, it can’t be argued that the turntable is very stylish and futuristic. Buyers also have three different colorways, so you shouldn’t have any issue finding one that works with your home decor. It’s easy on the eyes as the turntable and accompanied speakers look flush together for a satisfying display.
Weak low-end: It’s understood that the included speakers may not be very multi-faceted, but this turntable does not produce very much low-end. I wouldn’t say this is a deal-breaker for the turntable, but it’s something to consider if bass is important to you.
Not for the audiophile: If you tend to be a bit more critical about the sound quality a turntable provides, this one may not be for you. The Gemini performs basic necessities, but it won’t exactly impress someone who’s looking for extremely high-fidelity audio.
Bluetooth isn’t great: You may not get the best quality or connection when using the turntable’s Bluetooth feature. It seems regardless of the device you’re trying to connect to, there’s a bit of a drop in audio quality, and a spotty connection can lead to a poor listening experience.
Ready to go right out of the box!
The Gemini Sound TT-900 is a great option for those who want the whole package at once, meaning the turntable, preamp, and speakers. While there are better options for turntables within this list, if you want to make one single purchase and be able to play your records immediately upon delivery, this is the system for you.
See what people are saying about the Gemini Sound TT-900 here
Consider Buying Used
With a $200 budget, you may find some considerably better second-hand turntables if you’re willing to spend a little extra time and research. While I understand that not everyone feels comfortable enough to purchase their first turntable used, communities online and websites such as this one can help you be sure you’re getting a good deal.
In fact, we have a guide about buying a vintage turntable that goes through everything you need to know. Here are some of the pros and cons of buying used:
Cost efficiency: Buying used generally means cost-efficiency. You won’t have to cough up the full retail price, and it gives you the chance to give the turntable a test run. There’s also the chance you can get exactly what you’re looking for without breaking the bank.
All-inclusive: The previous owner has gone through the set-up process for you, and they may have even upgraded individual parts during their time with it. Many new turntables come with set-up instructions that can confuse first-time users.
Testing: If you’re buying in person, you should be able to test the turntable before deciding on the purchase. This is a huge bonus as you’ll be able to tell if it’s worth the investment before making any kind of commitment.
Faulty parts: You may encounter individual parts that aren’t in the best shape. A good example would be a belt-driven turntable having a stretched or worn belt. This may last a while, but it’s bound to cause some playback issues.
Cosmetics: It may not be a big deal to everyone, but the cosmetic condition of the turntable is a good sign of how it was cared for by the previous owner. Aside from that, you might have to deal with a few bumps or scratches when it comes to used turntables.
Avoid automatic features: Even if automatic turntables are widely sought-after, used automatic features tend to break in a much shorter time frame. Getting the most out of your money is important, and you don’t want to buy a used turntable at the end of its life cycle. In many cases, failed automatic capabilities can be a death sentence for the turntable, leading to purchasing another one soon after.
What to Consider When Buying a Turntable?
There are a couple of things to consider when looking at turntables. We’ll go through some of the common factors you should consider:
Having a reputable brand means quality is typically better, you receive better customer support, and there is potential resale value if you end up wanting to upgrade down the road.
Turntables come with a variety of features, some of which may or may not be important to you.
We suggest researching and then writing down a list of “must-have” features. These can be things like Bluetooth, USB, a built-in preamp, S-shaped tonearm, and more.
Belt Drive or Direct Drive
Probably one of the most differentiating factors in turntables is if they’re belt-driven or direct drive.
While each system has its pros and cons, it’s important that you research and decide which is best for you and your sound system.
As you can see, there are many turntables to choose from. The most important thing to remember is that you choose the right system for you. At the end of the day, it’s about the music you play.
Once you purchase your system, refer to our turntable setup guide for advice!
Lead Editor / Owner
After beginning his career in the video and audio recording industry, Andrew started HiFi Hippo to share his knowledge and passion for vinyl and vintage audio with other readers.